Does Rand Paul Have a Problem with Women Interviewers?

A scarlet M for Mansplainer.

As candidates practice distributing their carefully phrased policy points and canned responses, we wait for the unguarded moments that cut through the polispeak. We wait for the mistakes–that is where the candidates are at their most real, and that is, if we’re being honest, where the most fun is to be had.

It’s only day two, and Rand Paul has given so much. First there was the problem that needed a copy edit, then came the interview for which Paul could have used a verbal edit.

“Why don’t we let me explain instead of talking over me, OK?” said Paul during an interview with the Today Show’s Savannah Guthrie this morning. Perhaps that line would have been given a pass if Paul hadn’t followed up with a critique of Guthrie’s interviewing style, or if the ghosts of interviews past had stayed away.

“Rand Paul has again stepped into controversy over a contentious interview with a prominent female television correspondent who he said was conducting the interview in an unfair way,” was the lede on an NBCNews.com post about the interview, referencing a similar February exchange between Paul and CNBC anchor Kelly Evans.

The hed in Chris Cillizza‘s Fix post identified Paul as having a “problem with female interviewers,” and, in the same post, brought up the idea of a too-sensitive Paul.

Coming across as thin-skinned when faced with the gentlest of “tough” questions isn’t a very encouraging development for those who would like to see Paul emerge as the GOP’s standard-bearer sometime next year.

NYMag’s Jessica Roy attached to Paul the very appealing-from-a-coverage-perspective label of mansplainer. “Rand Paul: 2016 presidential candidate, and condescending, mansplain-y journalism professor,” she wrote.

The Hill’s Jesse Byrnes called Paul “testy.”

Testy. Sensitive. Mansplainer. Not the image you want to be stuck with at the start of a campaign.

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